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Mom and Dad, I want a Big Brother or Sister!

by , 30th Sep 2013

Children’s week is celebrated in Serbia and worldwide with the aim to raise awareness of the rights and needs of kids.

Year after year, not a single child is born in more than 1.500 towns and other places in Serbia. Furthermore, around 1.600 villages are almost entirely deserted. You can’t hear baby laughter, see cradles or diapers there – but mere extinction. Hundreds of places have less than five inhabitants, and it is estimated that in the next 15-20 years another 1.200 settlements in this country will simply “disappear”, because there are no children there, only very old people.

There are about million and 400.000 children under 18 years old in Serbia, which makes 20 percent of the entire population. Painful facts also inform us that 140.000 children live on the very edge of poverty, while one in eight kids are poor, and there are those who literally struggle to survive. Out of 48.000 users of soup kitchen here, it is recorded that 6.221 children have been queueing every day in order to get at least one cooked meal. They grasp metal plates in their small hands, waiting in line for the only chance to eat something on that day.

Unfortunately, people remember these horrible and warning facts only on rare occasions, such as the CHILDREN’S WEEK. This is an event celebrated in Serbia in the first week of October and around the world on other days, as well. Its’ motto in my country for 2013 is:


The aim is to help society become aware that children should be given more attention, love, and understanding. One of the messages, also, is that this world has no future if children are not provided with bare necessities. THEY MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO GROW UP IN SAFE AND SECURE SURROUNDING, TO LEARN, DEVELOP, PLAY AND SOCIALIZE. AND TO BE BORN. This week, in particular, can help us realize that children are our only chance.

 Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/".

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/”.

We are talking about socially “invisible” children, who have no documents, who are not registered at birth, without citizenship; children who do not have health care because their parents cannot provide them with health insurance; children with physical and mental disabilities; children with behavioral disorders; children who are not attending primary school; children with serious and rare diseases. Novak Djokovic Foundation has met such children in many villages and places in Serbia. Through our projects such as “Schools of Life“, “Mobile toy library“, “Friendship games” (this very week on Kopaonik), by reconstructing schoolyards, purchasing didactical materials and organizing other similar activities, we try to help the children and provide all what is necessary for them to have nicer and better childhood. It is great to know other people also want to help and to give their contribution to change and improve living conditions of unprivileged children in Serbia. If we unite, we can make a small, but strong team.

Roma children and refugees are in a difficult position too. Large number of children from the Roma population lives in cardboard houses, 20 percent of them are with some kind of disabilities, and there are many who do not eat every day.

This article is a wake-up call for people of good will. Let us not think just about ourselves. Let us forget, at least for a moment, about our jobs, ambitions, protocols, meetings, Skype and Twitter. Instead, try to think about the children, their problems, needs and help them in any possible way to have a happier childhood, to grow up in better conditions. You do not have to do this only during the Children’s week, but all year long, if you are able to – every day is a children’s day and every week is children’s week.

One comment

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  •' igor terzic says:

    Certainly the Children Sunday a good opportunity to meet and to properly determine the manner in which we have to fight against the problem that mostly affects children in their efforts to have a healthy and happy childhood .
    Every day is an opportunity and a chance to show the kids how much we care for them, helping them in various ways and who knows how many may thus be included in their future and make it accessible to as many children for whom this will be an incentive for easier and better grow and develop into responsible and intelligent people who will one day do the same this is what we are doing for them.
    It’s good to get as many people point to the part and express their humanity in a way that some children will mean a lot in making them at least one day a week or month pay much needed attention and guidance at what their real needs in relation how much we can really do for them, and we can if we want a lot if we have the will and desire .
    Is not appropriate to make a distinction between children and thus segregated from their peers who may have something different for them but to all of us to unite in the fact that we learn that we can connect the diversity and actively build together a better world for all of us who accept other as much as we respect ourselves and thus help to overcome the obstacles in our way of our maturing and learning that we are all the same before God and equal regardless of their religious , financial or any other label that we put aside in order to together to raise the standard to which we hold and respect regardless of who they are .
    Children are our future and we must give half as much attention as they actually deserve a little less to do with themselves and more time to devote to children and their dreams made ​​available, and adaptable to their needs to express his joy and beauty of life in a way that everyone be nice in that they can provide what they need to easily and beautifully grown in a smart and responsible people who will be able to respect what we are doing now to the bottom of their future.

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